Traditional Medicine

Respiratory trouble

Though tuberculosis is fairly “new” to the Inuit, some treatments have been developed. To stop the spitting of blood, the person should drink blood from a recently killed seal, or drink some tea made from rock tripe (a black lichen) or Labrador tea, or eat blackberries. Also to treat tuberculosis, the person should eat a whole raw loon or red-throated loon, bladder first.

To simply ease breathing for people with tuberculosis or less serious ailments, Labrador tea leaves may be chewed, placed on the chest, or mixed with seal fat in an ointment and rubbed on the chest. Spoonfuls of strongly boiled seal fat may also make breathing easier, or raw seal fat may be applied directly to the chest.